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The Major Scale The major scale is the most common scale in “Classical” music. It was used commonly from the beginning of the Baroque period (about 1600) until the breakdown of tonal harmony at the end of the Romantic period (1900). It continued to be used by some composers after this period. The major scale is made up of eight notes. These are each given a scale degree number. Below is an example of a C major scale. Below each note is its scale degree number. Scale degree: Solfege: 1 do 2 re 3 mi 4 fa 5 so 6 la 7 ti 8(1) do Solfege is commonly used in singing to help with the pitches of notes. You will notice that low C and high C are both called “do”. This is because they are the same note. It is acceptable to think of high C as either scale degree 8 or scale degree 1. The first note of a scale is called the tonic. All major scales follow the same pattern of tones and semitones. A semi-tone is the smallest step in music (i.e. from a B-flat to a Bnatural, or from an F-natural to an F-sharp). A tone is two semitones. The pattern of tones and semitones in a major scale is: tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone, tone, semitone. It is worth memorising this. The reason why scales have different key signatures arises from the need to keep this pattern of tones and semitones the same. Questions – The Major Scale 1. How many notes make up the major scale? ______________ 2. a) Write the scale degree numbers underneath each note of this scale. b) What is the name of that scale? ______________________________ c) Mark in the semitones on the scale. 3. Fill in the table below with the notes of a B-flat major scale. Note SD Solfa B-flat C 1 do 3 fa 4. Which scale degree is referred to as the “tonic”? ______________ 5. a) Write out G major scale on the staff below. b) Write the scale degree numbers. c) Mark in the semitones on the scale.